Monday, February 28, 2011
Interview with author Roseanne Dowell
1) Tell me a little about your book.
Stranger on the Shore is about Jordan Blake, an author, who lives in seclusion along the shores of Lake Erie. During an unexpected winter storm, she discovers a body washed up on her shore. The man is unconscious and Jordan manages to get him into her house.
2) What gave you the idea for this particular story?
Years ago we rented a cottage every summer in Lakeside, OH.
I often wondered what it would be like to be there during a storm, especially a winter storm. Lake Erie is known for unexpected storms kicking up and Lake Effect snow. And I’m no stranger to the crippling results of some of those snow storms.
Of course my writer’s imagination took over and I pictured being alone in a house by the lake. It was only natural for my heroine to be a writer. I often dreamed of a quiet place to write with no one to interrupt.
3) Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?
I’m a full time writer most of the time. Actually, I write when the muse hits, often in the middle of the night.
4) When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I think I was born wanting to be a writer. Seriously, ever since I could remember.
5) What do you hope readers will take from your writing?
I hope I entertain my readers.
6) Which genres do you write, which do you prefer, and why?
I write romance, mystery/romance, paranormal/romance and just plain sweet romance.
7) What is the toughest part about being a writer and how do you get past it?
Lately for me it’s been writer’s block. I started a story over a year ago and wrote a synopsis first on the advice of a speaker at our local chapter of RWA. That’s not usually how I write. I hit a road block and it’s taken me a year to get past it. I still have trouble with that story sometimes.
Usually, I start something new or revise something old, which is what I did in this case. I revised and expanded several of my short stories. I also talk to my writing buddy and ask her for ideas or run ideas past her.
8) Is there anything in your story based upon a real life event? If so, tell me about it.
Other than being a writer and living through Lake Effect snowstorms, not really.
9) How much is your protagonist like you? How different?
I don’t think she’s at all like me. She’s in her 30s , I’m much older. She’s divorced and I’m very married and have been for a good number of years. In fact, by time I was 30, I had all my children. Maybe the seclusion – not that I live in seclusion, but I don’t mind being alone.
10) What kind of research did you do for this type of story?
Actually I didn’t have to do any research for this one. I knew about Lake Effect snowstorms and also the area I set my story.
11) Do writing violent or highly sexual scenes bother you? Why or why not?
Actually, writing highly sexual scenes does bother me. I don’t feel these scenes are necessary for the book. In fact most times, they’re just thrown in. I know sex sells, but I guess I’m old fashioned and I like to close the door on these scenes. I’ll write the scene up to a point, but I think readers are smart enough to figure out what happened after.
12) What about your book makes it special?
Wow, that’s a tough question. I’m not sure I know how to answer that. It’s a romance with a bit of mystery since the man she rescues doesn’t know who he is. I love the characters.
13) What is your marketing plan?
It’s hard to promote eBooks. I’m doing as many blog interviews as possible. Lea from MuseItn Up Publishing also does a lot of promoting for us and sets up blog tours and sends our books out for reviews. I also promote on Face book and Twitter. I’m hoping to speak at our local library, but that’s hard with eBooks. I’m going to try to set something up with the last bookstore left in this area, if it’s still there when my book comes out.
14) Where can people learn more about you and your work?
My website is: www.roseannedowell.com
My blog is: http://roseannedowellauthor.blogspot.com
`My twitter is: http://twitter.com/roseannedowell
Stranger on the Shore is available at Muse It Up Publishing at: http://bit.ly/dM2bHA
15) Any tips for new writers hoping to write in the genre of your book?
First and foremost, love what you’re writing. If you don’t love reading romance, don’t write it. Second, do your homework, once you have a completed manuscript, make sure you submit to the proper publishers or agents. Don’t submit a mystery to a romance publisher unless it is a romance with mystery elements. Third, don’t give up. If you truly love writing keep at it. Write something every day, even if it’s only for fifteen minutes. Fourth, read and study all you can about the elements of writing, especially showing the story, not telling it.
Roseanne Dowell is an avid reader and writes various types of romance - paranormal, contemporary, and mystery. She has several books published as well as over 40 articles and short stories published in magazines such as Good Old Days, Nostalgia, and Ohio Writer and several online publications. Besides teaching writing courses for Long Story School of Writing www.lsswritingschool.com ,she also taught two writing courses for the Encore Program at Cuyahoga Community College.
Roseanne lives in Northeast Ohio and where she enjoys life as a wife, mother of six, grandmother of fourteen and great grandmother of one. Besides writing, Roseanne enjoys embroidery and quilting, especially combining the two.
Synopsis of Stranger on the Shore
Author, Jordan Blake lives in a house along Lake Erie. She’s a recluse and likes it that way. No interruptions while she’s writing. At least not until that day in October when an early Lake Effect Snow storm brews up. Not that she minds snowstorms. Far from it. She loves them. While she’s on her deck securing chair cushions and chairs, something along the rocky shoreline catches her eye. A body? Hard to tell from where she stood. Not being one to ignore someone in need, she rushes across the yard. It’s a body all right – a male’s body. Thank God he was alive, but unfortunately unconscious. Jordan manages to roll his body to her house and gets him inside.
The stranger sparks something in her, she thought was long dead. Unfortunately when he comes to, he can’t remember who he is. Jordan tries to ignore the attraction she feels toward the stranger, but his kisses awaken something in her. Something she’d rather wasn’t aroused. To make matters worse, the stranger doesn’t have any idea who he is.
Excerpt for Stranger on the Shore
“Darn, it’s getting cold.” Jordan shivered and zipped her sweat shirt. She hated storms, hated thunder and lightning most of all. Grabbing at some papers that flew across the deck as the wind picked up, a movement caught the corner of her eye. Something washed up on the shore. Something big. A body?
Jordan jumped off the deck and raced toward the craggy shoreline. Dark clouds hovered across the lake. Cold water splashed against her as waves crashed against the rocks like angry arms hurling water at an invisible enemy. The crash of thunder echoed across the lake. Ducking her head as lightening streaked across the sky and the air crackled with electricity, she thought she must be nuts. Probably just a bunch of old clothes washed up. Still, she had to see for herself.
Surely, no one in their right mind would be in the water this time of year? There had been storm warnings on the radio all morning. No one would be stupid enough to ignore the forecast. Would they? Heavy rain and strong winds then turning to snow, with a drastic drop in temperature, and blizzard-like conditions weren’t anything to ignore. Jordan winced as lightning flashed again, back-lighting the dark clouds. Darn it, she wanted to be inside cuddling by the fire not out here in a storm. For two cents, she’d turn around and go back. But something drew her forward.
A man’s body against the rocks.
Oh, Lord, please don’t let him be dead. She had planned for a quiet weekend, writing. A weekend with a corpse wasn’t on her list of quiet. But she couldn’t leave him out here either.
Jordan came closer and stooped down next to him. Lifting his head out of the water, above the crashing waves, she felt for a pulse. Thank God, he’s alive. Now how to get him out of here? She grabbed his arm, rolled him over and tried to pull him from the fury of the lake. Wave after wave pounced on him, their foamy peaks trying to reclaim him. Lord, if she ever needed help, now was the time. Struggling to roll him to higher ground, she lost her breath. His long, muscular frame outweighed her slender five foot two body and felt like dead weight.
“You’re going to have to help me.” Jordan grunted and gasped for breath when the full force of icy waves pulled her down and washed over both of them.
“Damn it. I can’t do this alone.”
Still no response.
Great, how was she going to pull him to safety? “I hate to do this, but I see no alternative.” Jordan took a deep breath and pushed him over, rolling him like a barrel and trying to avoid cutting him on the sharp rocks. It wasn’t easy, but at least he moved.
“Come on!” Jordan tried to encourage some life from his limp body. Once he was far enough away from the waves, she stared at him for a moment, before leaning down to give him mouth to mouth. His long straight nose, eyes set wide with bushy eyebrows and the grin on his lips, even in his unconscious state, sent a ripple of excitement through her body.
Not a handsome man, but something about him caused heat deep inside her. Shrugging off the urge to run her fingers through his curly black hair, she began mouth to mouth. When her mouth touched his lips, opened them slightly, something familiar tugged on her heart. She hadn’t touched a man's lips in, what, three years. This wasn’t exactly the way she imagined touching them again. Not that she ever imagined it. Never even thought about it. She’d had enough of men to last her a lifetime.